Here’s how often you should replace everything in your bedroom
As we head into spring cleaning season we suddenly remember all those things that should probably be washed. How long since those curtains have seen the inside of a washing machine, anyway? It’s also a good time of year to take stock and think about replacing things, like say that mattress you’ve had since the Clinton administration.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, why not take a spin around your bedroom and see what might need freshening up?
When to Toss It: 10 years
Let’s start with the bed. Do you even remember how long you’ve had your mattress? If it’s more than 10 years, according to Consumer Reports, it probably time to go shopping. Depending on the type of bed, says all-things-sleep review site Sleep Like the Dead, it could be even less time; their research shows latex mattresses last around eight years, memory foam around seven, and inner spring even less.
Consumer Reports has more bad news. If you’re over 40 you can expect even less time out of a bed, since “your body tolerates less pressure as it ages,” they say.
How do you know when it’s time for out with the old and in with the new? Just listen to your body. If it’s “generally uncomfortable, or you’ve been waking up with back pain, it may be time for a new one,” says the National Sleep Foundation. (Or maybe you could just try these wake-up stretches!)
When to Toss Them: 1 to 2 years
And how about where you lay your weary head? The National Sleep Foundation tells us to plan on replacing pillows every year or two. Why so often? Apparently they “absorb body oil, dead skin cells, and hair,” which can “create the perfect environment for dust mites (common allergens).” They also recommend washing your pillows every six months and using a protective case between the pillow and pillowcase. How do you know when it’s time for a new pillow? “Fold it in half and see if it stays that way,” they say. “If it does, it’s time for a new one.” If you spring for a quality down pillow and take good care of it, lifestyle guru Martha Stewart says you can get 10 or 15 years out of them.
If you’re over 40 you can expect even less time out of a bed, since your body tolerates less pressure as it ages.
How many years should i replace my mattress
Have you checked your mattress lately? If not, now may be a good time to do so.
Many people use the warranty of their mattress as a guide to determine when it’s time to replace it. However, what people should know is that the comfort ingredients, on top of your spring core, wear out much sooner than the springs and that’s what cause poor sleep and restless nights.
Here are the signs to determine if you need a new mattress:
1) Your mattress is over 8 years old
The age of the mattress is one of the first things to consider. Most people don’t remember when they bought their last mattress. If you are not good at keeping files, you should write the date of purchase on the mattress label. Consumer Reports magazine recommends replacement every 7 to 10 years. This may be a shock to many people who have purchased a mattress with a 20-year warranty. You should know that the warranty is meant to cover certain parts (springs) and workmanship and not a mattress’s overall comfort.
2) You don’t feel rested when you wake
If you get a good night’s sleep you should wake up feeling refreshed and rested. If you find that you are waking up tired and feeling drowsy during the day (and you don’t suffer from other sleep disorders like sleep apnea) it may be due to too much tossing and turning throughout the night. Your body is working overtime to find a comfortable sleeping position that does not exist.
3) You wake up with aches and pains and holding your back
Are you waking up stiff and tired every morning? If you are then chances are you need a new mattress. Old mattresses tend to gradually lose the ability to provide proper support and once the comfort zone has matted down you will get pressure points by sleeping directly on the springs. As the comfort layers lose their compression (if not their shape), your mid-section, which represents the heavier part of your body, will sag into the mattress.
This can create significant pain in the neck, shoulders and back. You will also get uncomfortable pressure points that will cause you to toss and turn all night long. Morning neck and back pain that gets better throughout the day is a sign that you need a new mattress or that you are sleeping on a mattress that is the wrong firmness for your body.
4) Other places feel more comfortable
If you find yourself going into another bedroom to sleep or prefer the couch to your bed, this is a fairly good indication that you should consider buying a new mattress. Same goes if you find that you are sleeping better on a hotel mattress when you go away on vacation. Your mattress should be comfortable and supportive. It should give your body a rest and some time to relax and fully recover. Struggling to fall asleep at night is often the result of discomfort; studies show that by simply replacing an old mattress you can improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.
5) Your spring mattress squeaks or your box spring creaks
The ability of your mattress to provide support can be greatly affected by what supports your mattress. If you feel like your mattress is in fairly good condition but that something is off, consider checking your bed’s foundation (box spring) and the frame that it’s sitting on. Broken or worn out box springs can affect a mattress’s comfort, support, and shape. Similarly a frame, without a center support, may cause even a new mattress to sag in the centre.
6) You have a visible and noticeable sag
If you feel pain in your joints, muscles or your back, inspect your bed to see if there are signs of sagging or body impressions. Sagging can occur as springs break down and lose resiliency and impressions occur as the polyester fiber, foam and felt compresses over a short period of time. Sagging and impressions as little as 1.5″ in depth are linked to increased pain according to sleep surveys by back experts. If your “pillow-top” mattress is showing a sag at this level or greater, a new mattress should be on the top of your priority list well before you plant your new flowers for the season or open up your pool (if you have one).
7) You hammock into the mattress
If you feel like you are sagging into the mattress, even when there is not noticeable sag, it is probably due to the softening of the core in your memory foam or full foam mattress. A better high resiliency core, like Koosh Natural, will keep its firmness and shape a lot longer than conventional polyurethane foam. When your mattress has reached this level of wear, it can significantly affect how you sleep and how you feel all day long.
8) You are suffering from bad dust allergies
If you find that allergies seem worse at night or first thing in the morning it may be an indication that it’s time for a new mattress. Dust mites are one of the leading causes of allergens and they thrive in mattresses and bedding. Memory foam, latex and waterbeds are most resistant to dust mites. Our Smart iFoam is made with silver ions that deter dust mites and bed bugs alike. However, dust mites love to hibernate and multiply in the cotton felt layer that is found in most spring mattresses. Using a dust mite resistant mattress cover and frequently washing pillows and bedding can also help alleviate dust mites and extend the life of a new mattress.
9) You have experienced a significant change in weight
People often gain or lose weight during a mattress’s life cycle. This could happen if you have a surgery, accident, pregnancy, diet or as you age. Even if the mattress is in decent condition, what supported you or was comfortable 5 years ago may no longer do the trick if your weight has fluctuated up or down. If firmness or pressure points are the issue, you can buy a mattress topper as a temporary solution until you are ready to buy a new mattress. However, if the mattress is too soft or lacks support, a topper will do very little to help your sleeping conditions.
If you want some tips for choosing a new mattress, you should get a proper Sleep Analysis from a comfort and sleep expert that can make you a custom mattress, using the best and most natural comfortable ingredients, at a great factory direct price.
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How long does a mattress last?
My mattress is getting on in years. In fact, Bill Clinton was in his first term as president when I last bought a new one. Is it time for me to replace my mattress?
You’ve probably logged more than 30,000 hours in your bed, and your mattress has likely become less comfortable and less supportive. But there’s no set formula for determining when you need to replace a mattress. It might be time to buy one if:
•You regularly wake up tired or achy—you make Oscar the Grouch seem as cheerful as Mr. Rogers.
•You tend to sleep better away from home, than in your own bed. Are you planning unnecessary business trips or looking for any reason to go on a weekend getaway?
•Your mattress looks or feels saggy or lumpy—it needs go on the Abs Diet.
•You’re over age 40 and your mattress is five to seven years old. Remember, your body tolerates less pressure as it ages. As if getting older weren’t tough enough . . .
A mattress can be an expensive investment—we’ve tested models that cost in excess of $4,000—but if you treat your new one properly, it could easily last 10 years. Our advice:
•Don’t let your kids use your bed as a trampoline.
•Rotate your mattress. If you have a single-sided mattress (you sleep on only one side), rotate the mattress from end to end—that is, move the mattress 180 degrees. The foot of the mattress is now at the head, and vice versa.
If you have a double-sided mattress, rotate it as above, then turn it over so the bottom is now on top.
Perform these steps every two weeks for the first three months you have your new mattress, then once every two months thereafter. You’ll find illustrated instructions on a number of different Web sites.
• Use a bed frame that has a center support.
Essential information:See “How to buy a mattress without losing sleep” for detailed advice on finding the perfect bed. And watch our video buying guide.
How Often Should You Change Your Mattress?
Knowing when to change your mattress and how often can be tough, so here are some useful pointers to help you make a decision.
In total you spend about one third of your life on your mattress, so it plays a big part in your general health and well being, not to mention your day-to-day energy levels, alertness and mood. That’s why it’s important to look for signs that it may be old and tired and once you spot these signs, you should reall change your mattress. Here are some of the things to keep in mind.
Change your mattress for a good sleep
If you wake up in the morning with stiffness, or aches and pains it could be that your mattress isn’t providing the level of support and comfort it needs to. Feeling tired throughout the day and sleeping better in a hotel bed than your own bed are also signs that your mattress might be on the way out.
Is your mattress coping with changes in your body?
Click the image to see the full infographic.
If you’re a couple of stone heavier, or even lighter, than you were a few years ago, it’s possible that your body could have changed to the extent where your existing mattress is no longer comfortable. This also applies to children’s mattresses, which can’t adapt by themselves to the growing demands of kids.
Is your mattress showing signs of wear and tear?
If you can see a visible dip in the middle, or if you can feel the springs through it, then it’s definitely time to change your mattress. The same goes for a noisy mattress too. If it’s creaking, groaning and pinging all night long, then it’s obviously not in a sound condition.
Is your mattress keeping your partner awake?
An ageing mattress doesn’t reduce motion transfer like it should and this can cause big problems in a shared bed. A good mattress needs to support both sleepers in equal comfort, not just one.
Is your mattress a home for unwanted guests?
Click the image to see the full infographic.
Old and worn mattresses can provide welcome accommodation for allergens, dead skin cells, dust mites, germs and even bedbugs. And this can happen even if you wash your sheets regularly.
Is your mattress older than 8 years old?
This is the clincher. Both the mattress industry and the Sleep Council strongly recommend that you replace a mattress every eight years, because by this time it will have lost much of its original comfort and support.
We appreciate that a mattress is hidden under sheets and blankets for most of its life, so it’s not always obvious what condition it’s in, but if it’s starting to give you any of the problems we’ve mentioned then it’s probably time to say goodbye and buy yourself a new one.
Do you think you need to change your mattress? A better sleep could be just a mattress away . . .
Should You Replace Your Mattress?
Laura is an freelance writer living in Florida. She has a Master’s degree in English.
Consumers have been hit with a campaign to replace your mattress every eight years. But is this campaign a true message to promote better health or a stealthy way to get a little more of your money?
In the last few years advertising spots on TV and the radio have bombarded consumers with the "if it’s over eight, it’s time to replace" mantra concerning their mattresses. The advertisement claims that the mattress doubles in weight every eight years due mainly to dust mites and other contamination caused by pets and people sleeping on the bed.
Some consumers seem to believe it. Facebook and other social media posts show people asking if they should replace their mattress or being concerned with the age of the mattress they are sleeping on.
But is it a health hazard?
Does the average person need to shell out hundreds to thousands of dollars every few years for a new mattress set?
The answer is mostly: No.
What They Claim
The companies claiming that you must replace your mattress mainly cite health reasons. They say that due to sweat and moisture, a mattress will double in weight every eight years.
The thought is that all the sweat and skin flakes create a great place for the dust mites to live. Because so many people have allergies to dust mites, you may be risking your health by not replacing your mattress.
Do Mattresses Get Dust Mites?
Yes, most mattresses contain dust mites. Dust mites are microscopic organisms that feed on dust and particles that naturally occur where people and pets live.
According to Mayo Clinic, dust mites thrive in environments of 70 degrees or higher (the temperature of most homes) and eat the shed skin of people. They are a relative of ticks and spiders.
The only evidence that you may have of dust mites is allergy symptoms or feeling like you have a cold. Only an allergist can determine if you are allergic to dust mites or if they are causing an allergy.
So mattresses may be the perfect place for dust mites to live. We spend many hours a day in bed, and naturally sweat and shed skin cells.
But is it a problem that can be prevented or remedied? Does the mattress really double in weight?
According to an article by Elizabeth Landau "Meet the critters inside your mattress" on CNN.com, experts believe that the idea of your mattress doubling in weight every eight years is exaggerated. Experts say this it is not mathematically possible. While mattresses can and do contain dust mites and possibly gain some weight from the absorption of fluids, they are not likely to be gaining weight at that rate.
So what can you do about preventing or reducing the amount of dust mites in your mattress? A simple and inexpensive solution is to use a high quality mattress cover.
Quality Mattress Cover Extends the Life of Your Mattress
A simple and inexpensive solution to stopping or preventing the spread of dust mites is to use a high-quality mattress cover on your mattress.
Ideally, the cover should be waterproof and should be placed directly over your bare mattress. From there you can add your sheets and other bedding.
If you use memory foam or an egg crate pad, be sure that the mattress pad covers this as well. Dust mites can live in that foam as well.
A waterproof mattress pad acts as a shield, preventing the skin flakes and moisture from your body from penetrating the actual mattress itself, preserving your mattress and your health. Even if your mattress is older, you can add a mattress cover to prevent any further accumulation of moisture or dust mites in the mattress. It will also provide a barrier between you and the mattress, preventing you from breathing in the dust mite allergens.
How Do You Know It Is Time to Replace Your Mattress?
There are times when a mattress does need to be replaced, but it is likely to last longer than eight years. For one thing, experts recommend checking the mattress label. If it has a 10, 20, or 30-year warranty, with proper care, you are likely to get about that amount of time out of the mattress.
You also want to think about comfort. Are their pressure points? Is it less comfortable than it used to be? Would adding a memory foam pad or egg crate pad alleviate some of these problems? If you are like most consumers and watching your money, adding a pad may give you a few more years out of the mattress.
You should also visually inspect it. If it is dirty or soiled, it may be time to consider replacing it. Putting a mattress cover on at the start of the use of your mattress may help to eliminate these problems with your next mattress.
Picking Out a Mattress
When picking out a mattress, many people have very particular ideas about how it should feel. It is important to get one that is comfortable for you. Consider the quality as well. Watch out for pillow top mattresses that are not able to be flipped over. They are likely to wear down and become less comfortable over time.
Don’t feel the pressure to buy an expensive mattress. Look for quality and durability. Check a less biased source such as consumer reports to find the right balance of quality and affordability.
Remember that the biggest point that the "replace after eight" campaign is making is that your mattress will be overloaded with sweat and dust mites. But you can prevent or eliminate this problem by simply adding a quality, waterproof mattress pad.
- In order to get the most life out of your mattress and to reduce allergies wash all of the bedding and the mattress pad regularly. Washing in hot water kills the dust mites that might accumulate in the bedding.
- To prevent wear and tear, remember to flip your mattress every six months to a year, rotating when you flip so that all parts of the mattress have regular wear.
- If your mattress is uncomfortable or has clear wear and tear, it is time to consider a new one.
There is no reason to stress about sleeping on an older mattress. With care, a mattress can last a decade or more with no reason to worry.
How old is the current mattress you sleep on?
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My bed is king size ensemble Pillow top is older than my daughter whose 21 years old.. it maybe about 23 and its stilll comfy and soft ..my sister’s cant believe how soft n comfy it still is..have no allergies or sore backs from having it so long as that’s what they say could happen.. otherwise I’d get a new one..it gets rotated every few months and cleaned.. bought it for over $2000. along with my bedroom suite which I also still have.. none of the drawers are broken just need bit of an update to them..sanding revarnish etc.. only thing now is my cat has now shredded the base at the bottom using it as a scratching post..I’ve just put a valance on it to cover it..so pays to spend good money for something and it will last.. how many beds and drawers has everyone else in my family had over that period.. quite a few..I love my bed
Our mattress going on 17 this year. It is in good condition but the padding has compacted over the years. I bought a gel foam mattress pad 4 inch on the internet and absolutely love it. I expect this to last quite a while as it is the same since purchased two years ago. For dust mites, I just fog our house once in a while with. Pyrethrin based fogger. No probs.
L C David
3 years ago from Florida
That makes sense!
It also make a difference if one or two are using the bed.
L C David
6 years ago from Florida
Thanks Wiccansage. I agree the eight years thing sounded funny to me too so I did some digging. There are definitely ways to get more than 8 years out of the mattress. And if it really doubled in weight there would be bed frames falling apart all over the place. I’m not even going to tell you how old the oldest mattress is in our house!
Mackenzie Sage Wright
I just bought a new mattress this past year because the springs were shot and my old. I kept hearing that thing about replacing it after 8 years and doubling in weight and thought it sounded dubious. My old mattress from my mother’s house stayed with me for about 20 years– when I got married it went to a guest room and eventually to my daughter, she had no problem with it as it was one of the most comfortable in the house. A lot depends on quality of the mattress and how you take care of it. This is a great hub.
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